Zion Williamson is one of the most entertaining players in college basketball as his combination of size and athleticism is unmatched. He uses his physicality in the paint to give himself easy baskets around the rim, shooting an ACC best 68.3 percent from the floor. Williamson’s ability to create space in the paint is due to his 285-pound frame, but the freshman forward was not always this big.
According to an interview with GQ, Williamson gained 100 pounds between his freshman and junior years of high school.
“Freshman year, I was small,” Williamson said about himself in high school. “I was 6-foot-3, 175- like I was small.” While someone putting on 100 pounds in two years is extremely impressive, he maintained his explosiveness from when he weight 175 pounds.
Most people lose some of their speed and quickness when they put on a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but not Williamson. The Spartanburg native is one of the most explosive athletes in the nation with a vertical leap over 40 inches.
Williamson’s lateral movement is another underrated aspect of his game as he has the ability to defend all five positions on the court.
“And over the course of two years I picked up a hundred pounds,” Williamson said of his weight gain. I mean, I wouldn’t look at myself and go, ‘Wow I’m 250!’ I wouldn’t know I was 250 until I stepped on the scale, and then I’m like, ‘Oh. I’m 250? I don’t feel 250.’ I don’t feel slow.”
Williamson has not been slow this season, averaging 22.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. His speed in the open court has been exciting to watch as he is always a candidate to go coast to coast with the ball in his hands.
Williamson’s quick feet are not just good in the open court, but also in the post as the freshman forward is able to get easy buckets close to the basket. He is one of the most freakish athletes in college basketball and his two year weight gain is a prime example of his natural athletic ability.